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Bone Moon Slave Fair Vanguard Report by Kevralyn Soulfire

Present from The Vanguard were:

Wolfhold: Kevralyn Soulfire, 11th Sorceress of House Tumdurgul (Party Leader); Master Seer No. 4; Daark, High Priest of the Dark Brethren; Melieth Blackbone, Black Wizardess; Harlequin Voidstalker, 6th Wizard of House Tumdurgul; Gutrot, Veteran of the Iron Guard; Squire Arithis, Spiritual Warrior of the Fell Knights of Ushaz; Jihad, of the Assassins; Roban Dreadbane, of the Assassins;

Valley Alliance: Rahima Suhayma, High Priestess of the Hospitallers; Tersius, Druid;

White Retreat: Khortaz, Humacti Priest; Aldred, Veteran Crusader.

The Kern Valley Alliance had agreed to provide the security for the slave market. This was being run by the Dai-fah-Dyne, and is the first such event on the Western side of Orin Rakatha. The slave market itself was based in the Fallow Hills, and we were occupying The Sanctuary waystation, currently owned by Annach Morannonil.

Ulrik the Steadfast, Administrator of the Rangers Guild, was in charge of the security arrangements and he was liasing in this matter with Giles, Assistant Guildleader of the Grey School of Magic.


Fire Day Night - Visitors to the Waystation

We arrived along with a smaller sized patrol led by Gilrehyan, Sorcerer of the Red School. Giles briefed us as to the rules of this slave market. Other than the Alliance and Annach Morannonil, Towered groups of no larger than 4 would be permitted inside the waystation. Off-planar groups would possess an invitation. We were to show no hostilities to those conducting valid business at the slave market.

Our first visitors were a small group from Laire Tinwé, headed by Veronda Estaheru Salnenda Halo Amatisto. He indicated that he did not approve of slavery of any kind. He is one of the Elen Silvani, who are formed from the combined forces of the former Nar- and Sol- Silvani who used to enslave all Mor Silvani on sight.

The next arrivals were Galithinal Nomas, Head of the Humacti Sect, and Lord Creyn, Head of the Hospitaller Sect. Lord Creyn later promoted our Hospitaller, Rahima, to the rank of High Priestess. This is a position that The Vanguard feel she richly deserves, and she was roundly congratulated by the group. Lord Creyn also participated in a ritual with Brother John, High Priest of the Hospital, Rahima and Khortaz to see if they could cleanse the darkness that seemed to be pervading the minds of those associated with the Good Sphere. I do not believe this worked.

Galithinal Nomas informed us that Alliance scouts had been monitoring the Shadow Keep for a while, and their intelligence suggested the Mor Silvani would be performing a large necromantic ritual in the area. He passed us some of their correspondence, which talked of “the Great Eclipse” and how this area had been determined to be the most favourable ritual site. The Humacti Sect Head then told us to expect some Kalid visitors who would liaise with us, and confirmed my suspicions it was their Earthwarp Sect. There has been some considerable political tension between this Sect and the Shadow Keep since Harvest Moon, two years ago.


At the Outpost

We took up our watch on the outer perimeter. The first incident was a man in grey without legitimate colours or invitation trying to sell us two slaves. However, magic in the area was not working as it should and so he was able to make his temporary escape. The slaves, a Morgothian and Halmadonian, were under the effects of a dumbness spell. This had been cast upon them by Oppot, a Wizard of the Blue College of the Wizards Concillium, whom Ambassador Perrington had arranged for us to meet at the slave market. She is a regular trader in slaves, although prefers to sell the individuals back to their towers of origin. A passing Dai-fah-Dyne took the now freed slaves from our hands and saw the dumbnesses removed. It seems that Oppot herself had been captured.

Lady Mortifera, Head of the Necromancers Sect, stopped by to inform us of a new alliance between the Wolfhold and Dymwan Towers. This arrangement is comparable to that between the White Retreat and Halmadons Heights. We are not to attack members of the Dymwan Tower save to defend ourselves.

Shortly afterwards, a Dymwan entourage passed by. High Priest Kanver Sullest had brought a gift for the Necromancers Sect.

While the Dymwan were in the waystation and thus under our protection, a group from the Crimson Feast, led by Major Urusus, charged in there to confront him. They were angry that some of their men had recently been raised as undead by this Dymwan. They then asked for our group to intervene. We refused, and Gutrot did an admirable job of translating for us.

During that time a Wizard from House Alzor approached me regarding some recent correspondence of mine. It seems he was at the market to buy back some missing members of his House, one of whom was in the possession of the now-captured Oppot.


Strange Magic, Power and Time Effects

Earlier, while Galithinal Nomas had been talking about the Shadow Keep, everyone in the room found themselves suddenly moving at a much slower speed and unable to do anything about it, even with the Green Spell Quicken. Later we found ourselves shifted to a place we had been earlier in time. I found myself on the stairwell in front of Galithinal Nomas at a point in our conversation we had been having only minutes before.

While on guard at the outpost, we were attacked by some hordelings. No sooner had we dispatched them, but we saw the same group running across the field to attack us once more.

Not much later, members of the group started reported their magical protections were wavering, and Tersius added that his barkskin (cast through his druidic skills) had faded. We were just preparing to do a ritual involving several spheres and elements when all our spells and invocations disappeared in an instant. Magical and empowered items – including talisman and focuses – became ordinary. Our bodies were divested of all mana, and we stood on our base power. From within the building, some magical creatures appeared. They reminded me of shadow creatures, due to their appearance and the nature of the spells they were casting. A pathfinder came running to the outpost with orders from Ulrik the Steadfast to pull back to the main group. We retreated and the waystation was soon beset by both hordelings and these strange shadowy creatures. The magical creatures attacked without distinction, both people and hordelings alike.

Eventually our items started regaining their ensorcellement and empowerment. By the morning, long durational effects that had been cast days earlier had returned.

During this time, casters of the Good Sphere had gathered in the waystation to witness a number of shared visions. In one of these a crowned, white figure in a golden cape was seen leaving, as were several plain figures in white. A number of people speculated that these figures might be White Seers and the crowned figure King Michel.


The Kalid Earthwarp

A number of druids had visited the premises earlier, wishing to members of the Alliance Druid Sect – including Piskie, Wheech, and Tersius who were all present. One of these included a member of the Shadow Keep who did not support the planned activities of Kelnozz Hatch’nett.

Later, Rollu, formerly the Valley Druid but now a Hierophant of the Kalid/Earthwarp Legion/Pulse Sect came to talk with us about what the Mor Silvani Soul Shriever was planning. It should be noted that Hatch’nett’s predecessor was Jezra Hun’ett, also of the Pulse Sect, who was chosen for the position by Rollu. When I spoke with Rollu on the Forest of Unshed Tears, he indicated that he disapproved of Hatch’nett occupying that position. Rollu was responsible for helping many of the Mor Silvani escape their bonds of slavery from the other Silvani elves in the Forest, a plane which now no longer exists.

Rollu explained that the Dymwan had been channelling the power of the Plane of the Sleepless Dead into one of the druidical sacred groves for a while. The Shadow Keep were funnelling power from the Shadow Glade; this plane is one of Nature and Darkness, please refer to my report from All Hallows Eve two years ago for more information. Kelnozz Hatch’nett intended to merge the Spheres of Nature and Necromancy in a ritual similar to the Ritual of Desecration, first performed on the Forest of Unshed Tears a millennium ago by N’rahn the Decayer. It was this ritual led the Mor Silvani to their original enslavement via torcs devised by the Master Hierophant, Kerney Oakrot.

Four Skin Shrievers (High Priests of the Mor Silvani) were travelling to the area to perform the rituals to link the two Spheres together. Rollu said that he would help direct us to the locations on the next day.

When I spoke with the elves of Laire Tinwé last Hunting Moon, they said they had noticed a darkness coming upon the land that had been growing for a while, although they had only been aware of it for three moons then. Rollu confirmed that the changes caused by the Dymwan and Shadow Keep had been going for about a year, and would account for this darkness that the elves sensed.


Changes in Wolfhold

Lord Snarlow arrived and spoke separately with one or two people. He then took his audience with the Wolfhold members present. He asked us if we thought that in times of trouble, a leader should be present to guide people? He then said he had some personal business to attend to over the coming moons which would mean he would be absent during this time. In the mean time he appointed No. 4 to act in his stead, both as Head of the Seer Sect and in his place on the Council of Ten.


Steel Day Morning

Gilrehyan and I arranged to tackle the different necromantic rituals in the area. Lupacuore’s group would follow up the trail of the Iron Star, and locate the captured Wizard, Oppot.

A Pathfinder guided us towards one of the sites. Less than a mile away, we encountered a Dymwan Priest named Thaddeus Vane, who “in the spirit of our new alliance” wished to warn us that extreme danger lay in the direction we were taking. He departed, with his undead remaining on our path. Without someone who could communicate or control these creatures, we destroyed them, rather than leave them for possible enemies in the area.

Not two minutes away were a mob of strange green creatures, which cast a large amount of green magic. This extended to removing me from the fight, which meant it was somewhat more protracted than it would otherwise have been.

After this we encountered hordelings who apparently complained that they were being captured and experimented on. We dealt with them and found a number of towerless who made a similar claim. We deduced it was the Mor Silvani of the Shadow Keep who were doing this, from the description that the towerless gave me. We then slew multiple Mor Silvani, including Elite Guards and undead over the course of the next two hours. During this time, Rahima overcast and became imbued with an undead presence. I believe it may have been her contact with the ground that allowed the spirit to take hold – the Forest of Unshed Tears has caused comparable effects in the past.

We came across the Shadow Keep Skin Shriever, casting in a ritual circle set up as depicted below:

 


The ritual was surrounded by a rank 7 ward, which No. 4 later informed us would have risen to rank 8 had his casting been allowed to go uninterrupted. I blinded one of his Elite guards, Harlequin stunned the other, and Jihad initiated the attack on the Shriever after I was put under the effects of a TreeCharm. The group destroyed the remaining Mor Silvani, although the ritual circle enabled the Shriever to draw upon a great amount of power, allowing him to very quickly cast ritual invocations from both spheres.

Two Shadowsfall approached asking if they could observe us. They had been keeping an eye on the area for the last couple of days, but thought taking immediate action an ill-considered move – it had unleashed a number of undead (such as crimson tenders, will-o’-the-wisps) which had formerly been held in stasis. I assured them that we were quite capable of handling the situation. No. 4 communed with the ritual and determined that it was causing instability in the area, and needed to be stabilised by completing it in some way. We removed the remaining creatures bound to the ritual (the Shadowsfall killed the towerless man) and myself, Harlequin, Tersius and Gutrot volunteered to act in their stead while No. 4 “completed” the ritual along with Melieth. This involved casting a spell and invocation (darkbolt and cause mortal) against each small warded circle, then she activated it. At this point, we all collapsed but when we came round shortly afterwards I noticed I had regained all my spiritual energy.


Other Successes

Gilrehyan’s group returned confirming they had disrupted the other ritual, glory was claimed by four enthusiastic Rangers (Quentin, Mucus, Rukh and Flix).

Lupacuore’s patrol had tracked down the location of Oppot, who was being held by the illegal slavers, the Iron Star. In freeing her, Oppot confirmed that they had wiped out the remainders of one of the four Iron Star factions that operate from a tower base. They had also found some monks from the Order of the Midnight Sun (a Kalid Legion) trading with the Iron Star, but after Lupacuore’s group had informed the monks that the Iron Star were an illegal organisation, the monks themselves turned on and attacked the Iron Star.

Gutrot performed a ritual of importance to members of his original tribe. This required the support of all the members of the Vanguard. It called upon all the elements taught in the Alliance, three Spheres, and required extreme martial prowess that Roban and Jihad were happy to supply.

Giles reported that he had other duties to attend to in the area and passed control of the waystation over to myself for the evening.


Visitors

A group of Drow from House Agraathan, 3rd House, led by their 9th Warrior Chaosweaver, arrived to talk to some members of House Tumdurgul.

Extremely high ranking members of Wolfhold began to arrive. They had been summoned to a meeting, but some commented that they did not know who had called it.

From House Tumdurgul we had:

  • Lord BlackWidow, 1st High Priest and Head of the Church of Lloth
  • The Guildleader of the Black School of Magic, 2nd Turanthir, Member of the Council of Ten
  • Lord Eremor Shaderiver, 3rd Turanthir, Assistant Guildleader of the Black School, Bearer of the Favour of Lloth
  • Vor Charmshaper, 4th Sorcerer.

Those called to the meeting included: Sir Termigan, Member of the Council of Ten; Lord Bael, Member of the Council of Ten; Lord Mothac Storm and Lady Mortifera. High Priest Puke of the Reapers came to speak on behalf of Lensal Blackbone. Shadow, Head of the Assassins arrived during the meeting.

Paladin Balthazar; and Derlin, Administrator of the Grey Path Sect, Scribe to Raucus; had been invited to speak on behalf of the White Retreat and Valley Alliance Towers. However it transpires that both had been attacked while travelling, and thus Gilrehyan and Giles took their respective places.


Council Meeting

Dreadlord Araikas arrived and claimed the empty chair where Lord Spellsword would normally be sitting. It was the Dreadlord who had called this meeting, with the intent of stabilising Wolfhold during Lord Spellsword’s absence from the Tower.

Black Rod then interrupted the meeting to say that he did not recognise it as legitimate. The Guildleader and Vor Charmshaper left, but Lord Eremor and Lord Blackwidow stayed as they wished to see the House’s interests represented while important discussions and decisions about the Wolfhold Tower were taking place.

Dreadlord Araikas proposed that a stable Wolfhold needed the vacant places on the Council to be filled, and that the Tower should have a Steward while its Head was away. Lord Bael objected to the personalities involved, and departed. The others around the table agreed that the following appointments should be made to the Council, awaiting official ratification from the Tower Leader:

 

  • Lady Mortifera, Head of the Necromancers Sect
  • Lord Mothac Storm, Head of the Dark Brethren Sect
  • Lord Lensal Blackbone, Head of the Reapers Sect
  • Shadow, Head of the Assassins Guild

Those nominated accepted the invitation. Dreadlord Araikas was given support to act in the role of Steward. Gilrehyan and Giles referred the official stance of their Towers back to the King, and the Primus, respectively.

Dreadlord Araikas then clarified how Wolfhold would uphold Alliance Law in future. The rules have never written down, and are thus often interpreted in different ways. The Dreadlord said that where harm had been caused by Wolfhold members, the matter should be referred to their Guild or Sect Head. If an Alliance member has been harmed resulting in their death, then the matter will be dealt with by the Council itself – a sign of how seriously Wolfhold consider the laws.

Sir Termigan publicly declared that the illegal Iron Star organisation would be hunted down and wiped out. This has, and is given, the official support from the entire Council, the Steward and Wolfhold. The Alliance does not tolerate the actions of the Iron Star, and will demonstrate how we deal with groups that act against us.

Dreadlord Araikas confirmed that Wolfhold has established an alliance with the Dymwan, and that a non-aggression pact with the Shadow Keep was under consideration.

Lord Blackwidow, having withdrawn his status from the Guildleader earlier in the Council meeting, declared he is forming a new Family in House Tumdurgul. He invited members of Tumdurgul to join his Family, and I have done so. This will be officially sanctioned when the Patriarch returns.


Night-time Events

With the meeting ended and the visitors having departed, both high-status parties joined forces to remove a strong wave of Shadow Keep undead that were moving through the area.

Advocate Ulan of the Shadowsfall asked to speak with representatives of each of our towers. He spoke with Gilrehyan, Giles and myself. He made it clear that the Shadowsfall wish to discourage members of our Towers (and others, such as the trading towers) from taking an interest in the workings of Orin Rakatha. He feared that in doing so we would transgress traditions which would lead to repercussions from the Shadowsfall. Although when Sky questioned him directly, there did not seem to be any specific laws that this would be breaking. The Shadowsfall have already spoken with Alberto Serrulian of the Reader about his Caravaneserai project and they expect that he has now been suitably discouraged. If any Alliance readers - finding this to be a subject of interest to themselves - wish more information on what they may wish to specifically avoid then they should feel free to contact me directly.


Shadow Keep Ritual

We received confirmation that Kelnozz Hatch’nett, Soul Shriever and Spiritual Head of the Mor Silvani, was in the area to perform the ritual working himself. His primary concern, we were told, was to restore the ritual to combine the Spheres.

Rollu arrived and took the low status group away to perform a ritual that would grant them significant protection from all forms of offence. During this time we fought more Shadow Keep undead and a spirit of nature.

Dispatching these, all three groups congregated and quickly prepared to face the Soul Shriever himself. Khortaz, Priest of the Humacti Sect thoughtfully gave everyone a protection from undead, before we stormed the ritual site. In this instance there were two large linked unranked warded circles, each with a number of creatures and undead bound to it. We destroyed the creatures and the Mor Silvani, hariad, and other undead he had guarding the area.

During this time Kelnozz Hatch’nett exhorted me to leave his ritual alone. We have a long history together, Hatch'nett and I, which dates back to when he was towerless and I was a mage. However I have been to the Forest of Unshed Tears and spent a considerable effort there in helping separate the same Spheres as he was trying to combine here. Previous visits to that Plane have shown how hard it can be to kill people when the ground immediately restores their life force and they spring back to their feet with full health only moments later.

Rollu cried that what Hatch’nett was trying to do was worse than N’rahn the Decayer, who originally combined the two Spheres. Rollu was unable to approach the ritual area, due to some inpenetrable force that held him at bay. The Soul Shriever eventually noted Rollu standing beyond the treeline, although by that time his forces had been mainly wiped out.

As we destroyed the last creature bound to the ritual, a number of us in the area suffered greatly wounding effects. The ground within the ritual circle became unstable and Hatch’nett collapsed. I saw him casting a large invocation, before the ground appeared to swallow him up and he vanished. The ward immediately dissipated and No. 4 quickly began communing with the ritual components. The Necromantic Sphere wished to bind things in a perpetual state of winter, but the Nature Sphere wished time to move on, for the seasons to progress. This difference enabled the distance between the Spheres to magnify and they slowly shifted apart.

We had broken the ritual.

When we returned to the waystation, a sudden snow shower began, as the final bindings on Necromancy’s Winter came undone.


By my hand,

Kevralyn Soulfire
Hero of the Kern Valley Alliance
11th Sorceress and Priestess of House Tumdurgul, Wolfhold
4th in Line to the Throne of Annach Morannonil

 

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